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While Beverly’s Ellis Square Social was closed over the spring, chef Jay Murray took some time to reimagine the restaurant’s concept into a relaxed BBQ joint with all the flavors and fixings of down-home Southern cuisine—and the hospitality to go with it. 

The menu, drastically different than before the restaurant closed, includes everything from juicy pork ribs and sliced brisket to biscuffins—the cronut’s country cousin, served with pimiento cheese or bell pepper jam. 

Shrimp and Grits

But this is not your typical grab-and-go BBQ eatery. The brisket is made from Snake River Farms American wagyu beef, which is brined for days and smoked for several hours. The brisket is served with house-made BBQ sauce and pickles. The pork collar comes from a mangalitsa hog—the Kobe beef of pork—it’s sweet, smoky, and tender. You can have that served with hot North Carolina Vinegar or BBQ sauce.

Mr. Wright

The crispy fried wings are glazed with house-made hot sauce, pork rub, ham hock broth, and BBQ butter. Chef Murray has even mastered Hoppin John, a rich, savory stew of bacon, celery, onion, rice, and black-eyed peas. 

And none of this culinary mastery is by chance. A seasoned top chef with 18 years under his belt at Boston’s Grill 23, Murray’s created a new concept that’s a far cry from the buttoned-down service and classic steak house menu found in the Back Bay. He wanted to do something fun—something that would lend itself to both takeout and outdoor dining.

“We don’t have a great BBQ place in the area, and I wanted Ellis Square Social to become the go-to place for the best BBQ,” says Murray. The new concept is a success. The mouthwatering Southern-inspired dishes are authentic, fun, and incredibly tasty. 

Hush Puppies

Murray is a two-time pancreatic cancer survivor, but less than a year after opening the restaurant, his cancer returned and he went through chemo and radiation, all without missing a day of work. Now cancer free for four years, his mission is to continue to make great food and also make the workplace as welcoming and friendly as possible.

He also strives to hire a diverse staff who love the hospitality industry. The cocktails, wine, and beers on offer are also top-shelf. Needless to say, if you love BBQ and great elevated down-home cooking, this new menu at Ellis Square Social is a must-try. 

To make a reservation for indoor or outdoor seating or to order takeout, visit